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CBI probes Customs officials, clearing agent for Rs 22 lakh fraud
The CBI is investigating a case against two Customs officials and a clearing agent for allegedly claiming refund of Rs 21.85 lakh of charged wharfage from the Chennai Port Trust by forging documents and fraudulent methods.
The fraud happened in 2017 when a city-based hospital imported medical equipment from Belgium worth more than Rs 191 crore.
The accused are Ranjith Kumar Kundu, then then Assistant Commissioner of Customs, Chennai, and now working in Central Excise in Puducherry; Rohitash Serawat, then appraiser who is now working in Delhi; and Lakshman Reddy and Manokaran of NSK clearing and forwarding agency, the Customs House Agent (CHA) th at handled the equipment at Chennai Port when the hospital imported it from Belgium.
The port had charged wharfage – the fee for using a wharf to unload cargo – of Rs 59.23 lakh. The CHA tried twice to get refund of certain percentage of wharfage, but failed. Then they colluded together and used fraudulent ways to submit refund application, and the CHA got Rs 21.85 lakh without the knowledge of the hospital.